This Christmas season, you’re going to go online and visit retailer web sites to either browse for something and buy it at a retail store, or you’re going to actually browse and buy online as well.
Often times what will affect your own purchase decisions (other than price and if you really want it) is how easy it is to shop for the product you want. For smaller business using off the shelf ecommerce software, the software they are using can be a big differentiator into how their ecommerce site looks and feels.
What about your own web site of products you’re selling? Is it a well designed site and easy for the customer to purchase products? If they are a returning customer do you treat them as if you’ve never seen them before?
I just saw a video demonstration of Alpha Software 2007 E-Commerce, ($300) which is Alpha Software’s new e-commerce software, built using their database Alpha Five Version 8. From what I can tell, it’s pretty easy to use, and rich in features to make it easy for your customers to buy products from you.
If buying software for e-commerce is not something you want to consider, you might want to check out e-commerce solutions from Yahoo Stores, Homestead Technologies or other solutions from your web host. If you’re just starting out you might want to try PayPal or Google’s Check Out.
Many of these solutions have various features, ease of setup and use and fee structures, so you might want to test them out first to see which solution is best for you.
Once you have a web site built for e-commerce, the real hard part starts.
You have to ensure you are marketing the site and that you are serving customers once they place the order.
Marketing the site, involves word of mouth, cost-per-click advertising, optimizing your web site to be included in search engine results (having a blog helps) and other strategies.
Serving customers (customer service) ensure that after or during the sale you are available to help customers.
Allbusiness.com has more on e-commerce here.